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In outlining the scope and requirements of the two-year course, Professor David Proverbs said that it had been designed to meet the needs of those who may have entered the profession without qualifications and later decide they would like a formal measure of their expertise.

With the needs of such students in mind entry requirements will be very flexible and any candidates who can show several years of appropriate experience are likely to be eligible.

Similarly the university is looking at a variety of convenient methods of teaching the curriculum from block and day-release to distance learning. Having completed the course students would then be eligible to complete a full BSc honours degree in one further year.

The course will cost £1600 a year and will start in February 2009.

This year’s conference was the first since NAVA joined forces with the equivalent associations for estate agents, registered letting agents and commercial and business agents under the umbrella of the National Federation of Property Professionals.

Though there were fears that such an amalgamation might dilute the effectiveness of the auctioneering group, initial experience has shown that it has strengthened NAVA’s infrastructure and lobbying power.

The conference saw renewed calls for the association’s long-term goal of licensing for all auctioneers.